Prime ministers Trudeau, Mulroney and Chretien were more popular than Stephen Harper at this point in their terms in office.In just the past few days, more evidence arises demonstrating the strange leadership provided by this Conservative government. News of the imminent strangling of the funds for the Parliamentary Budget Officer tells us, once again, that Mr. Harper doesn't respect our independent institutions of government, even the ones that he created.
All four leaders knew how to get to the political top.
Mr. Trudeau believed in the constitutional right of human dignity and culture. Mr. Mulroney was an environmentalist and a free trader. Mr. Chretien brought fiscal balance to the country’s finances.
On the other hand, Mr. Harper prefers not to respect government responsibilities for citizens abroad. He has thwarted international attempts to formulate environmental consensus and cancelled environmental protection policies in Canada.
Mr. Harper has made no in roads to fairer trade. He has taken us toward deficit and into recession while denying the situation all the way into it.
Canadians want a leader, and that is why Mr. Harper is not popular.
In our current time of high economic risk, protest and inaction from the prime minister is not popular. Most Canadians don’t equate avoidance and dissent with leadership.
News of this very high profile exodus of a top Canadian research team underscores the lack of leadership on science funding as well, sending a message to Canadians that our best and brightest are leaving and the Harper government is stubbornly asleep at the switch. In this case, 20 top AIDS researchers from the Universite de Montreal. Yet the "Science" Minister stood in the House of Commons today and spoke of increased funding for AIDS and increased funding for research, partisanly lambasting past Liberal governments for cuts. The government has no responsive answer to the facts and discredits itself when such a prominent flight of researchers to the U.S. has begun.
The dubious record continues to accumulate. The challenge will be to weave all of these failings into a compelling story for those Canadians who have twice hedged their bets with this Conservative minority government. A failure of national leadership is a big one.